Glenn Beck: Congressman Jason Chaffetz


Congressman Chaffetz from Utah

GLENN: Let's go to Congressman Chaffetz from Utah. Hello, Congressman.

CONGRESSMAN CHAFFETZ: Hey, Glenn.

GLENN: How are things?

CONGRESSMAN CHAFFETZ: Hey, I'm fired up.

GLENN: Ready to go?

CONGRESSMAN CHAFFETZ: Ready to go.

GLENN: Nothing better. Fired up? Ready to go! Fired up! Ready to go! Thank you for that, Barack Obama. Do you know what the supertax is? We're not talking they are not talking about one in congress yet, are they?

CONGRESSMAN CHAFFETZ: We're taxing every moment we can possibly do it.

GLENN: I'm you know what? I'm doing a segment on television tonight. If you made $60,000 a year and you lived in New York, you made $60,000 a year, I'm going to show you what you were paying last year in taxes and fees and what you are paying now, this year. And it's pretty, pretty staggering. Haven't seen all of the numbers yet but from what I have seen, pretty staggering on what you super people down in Washington have been working on.

CONGRESSMAN CHAFFETZ: Well, I can tell you here in D.C. we're spending it faster than we're evening taxing it. So

GLENN: You called me two days ago because you and I are actually working on a special project. I'm looked at Joe. Can I say? I'm not going to announce it, but can I say? I'm working on a special project because I've been looking for people that just, I don't care if I agree or disagree with you. Just clean up the corruption. And hopefully we'll be able to talk about that openly on something that I'm working with you on here in the coming days and weeks. But you called me the other day and you said, "Glenn, they're spending a big they're sending a big omnibus bill our way; we're supposed to vote on it, and I can't get a copy of it." Can you tell this story?

CONGRESSMAN CHAFFETZ: Yeah. I mean, it's I don't know how to put enough descriptors about how insane this process is, but they took six agencies, their appropriations, meshed them into one big, bad omnibus bill, I mean, this is seriously this is bad government at its worst. When the bill was originated, it was 1,088 pages, and it has to go to the rules committee before we as members of congress in the rank and file here can actually see it. It ended up being more than 2500 pages, and we voted on it roughly 24 hours after we got it. It represents half of the entire discretionary budget for the entire federal government, $446 billion, 2500 pages. There are 5,000 earmarks and at its baseline represents a 12% increase in spending for their base budgets, not counting the stimulus and all the other crap, a 12% increase over the base budget from just last year.

GLENN: Well, that's because business is so good. I mean, who doesn't expand at a point like this? Give me your fave well, first of all out of the 2400 pages, what was your favorite page?

CONGRESSMAN CHAFFETZ: They don't even number these pages. It's hard to do. I'll give you a couple that are just absolutely out of control. I've sponsored a bill to get rid of what's called the international fund for Ireland. This was started by Tip O'Neill because we somehow as a country had to help Ireland. There is nobody, but nobody in the congress and I've been working on this for literally ten months that will take responsibility and say, oh, yeah, that's my project and this is good. In fact, we called over to the ambassador from Ireland and said, what is this? And he said, oh, with well, we're working to phase that out in 2010. Well, they got it increased. Instead of paying $15 million of American people's money, we now in this omnibus bill are going to pay them $17 million.

GLENN: Do we get good coffee out of the deal?

PAT: Why do you hate the Irish so much, congressman?

CONGRESSMAN CHAFFETZ: It is just a check to the government of Ireland to say, here are $17 million.

GLENN: You know what it is, Chaffetz? You know what it is with you, Chaffetz? You are from Utah. What's the state just directly north of Utah? Idaho! Why do you hate potatoes from overseas so much!

CONGRESSMAN CHAFFETZ: I mean, it's just $3 million for bike racks in Washington D.C.? I'm reading here, I pulled one up because I thought at random I'm going to take a page. I take Page 24 of the appropriations bill regarding transportation. We're going to spend $600,000 for Sunset Boulevard streetscape beautification in California. We know how great Sunset Boulevard is. We have the Elvis Presley Boulevard improvement in Tennessee is going to get $500,000.

GLENN: Excuse me. Excuse me.

CONGRESSMAN CHAFFETZ: And $1,948,000 is going to go to the Fish Lake Trail completion in the State of Washington.

GLENN: Hold on just a second. First of all, you've never been to Fish Lake, have you?

CONGRESSMAN CHAFFETZ: I can't tell you where it is.

GLENN: It's in Washington. I can't go any deeper than that. So listen. Congressman, these are the, these are just the road and infrastructure improvements that the president has been talking about. That's all these are. These are the shovel ready projects.

CONGRESSMAN CHAFFETZ: This is insane. We're $12 trillion in debt. Next week they tell us we get to vote on a $1.8 trillion increase to the debt limit. And you still have people look in the camera and say we're serious about cutting the deficit, we're serious about this. No, we're not. We're not making any hard choices.

GLENN: Are you saying the Fish Lake Trail shouldn't happen?

CONGRESSMAN CHAFFETZ: I'm saying we've got enough Fish Lake trails. We need the American people need their money back.

GLENN: Okay. So first of all, you couldn't get the tell me the process of, okay, here's the insane omnibus bill that's coming in.

CONGRESSMAN CHAFFETZ: Right.

GLENN: You have to vote on it 24 hours later, right?

CONGRESSMAN CHAFFETZ: Yeah.

GLENN: You're trying to get a copy of it. What happens?

CONGRESSMAN CHAFFETZ: You couldn't, you couldn't get it. I mean, until it comes out of the rules committee you physically cannot get it. What happens, the House passes the bills, the Senate passes the bills, they go to conference. Well, that's a closed door meeting. Guys like me can't get in there. I'm just a member of congress. And so then they send it over to the rules committee and then it starts to get debated and then the bill goes from 1,088 pages to 2500 pages with 5,000 earmarks.

GLENN: Is that a reduction? Because we've been

CONGRESSMAN CHAFFETZ: And we vote on it the next day.

GLENN: I know that we were promised by both the Republicans and the Democrats that earmarks were disgusting and they were going to decrease them or stop them. Is that a decrease in earmarks?

CONGRESSMAN CHAFFETZ: Shockingly 5,000 earmarks is a decrease but, you know, they have what are called airdropped earmarks. These are the most egregious of all of them because they didn't go through any sort of committee process, there was no openness, transparency. They literally showed up for the first time in this report. And so I can't tell you, I still can't tell you which ones are the air dropped earmarks that literally have never seen the light of day. And that's the thing. The thing that's a shame about this bill, the reason you do an omnibus bill is to hide stuff. And you drop it in right before Christmas when nobody's paying attention and we've got all these other, you know, crises and things going on. That's why they do these bills. That's the dirty secret here that I've come to learn about how they throw in all the crap.

GLENN: So we have an average of 10% increase in domestic spending.

CONGRESSMAN CHAFFETZ: 12. 12.

GLENN: 12. We have

CONGRESSMAN CHAFFETZ: And by the way, the year before that, Glenn, was another 12%. So we did 12% and then this year we'll be doing another 12%.

GLENN: We have 5200 bipartisan earmarks at a cost of almost $4 billion.

CONGRESSMAN CHAFFETZ: 400 well, I'm sorry. Of the earmarks? You are right. The entire bill is $446 billion. But you are right, the earmarks are nearly $4 billion.

GLENN: Now, there's something else that is bothering you. And when you told me, I think my I mean, my head exploded because I believe, I believe this is the new American prison program. And a lot of people say, well, that's a nice prison to be in. But it is prison, and make no mistake. It is prison. It is a prison where you are paid $150,000 a year. You want to explain the new jobs program for the United States government, what's going on with the pay scale there?

CONGRESSMAN CHAFFETZ: Yeah, USA Today has got a good I think it's on the cover here today. I've been working with this reporter. He did a great job. This is you know, you just shudder when you say it out loud. The number of employees, federal employees that are earning more than $150,000 a year...

GLENN: Listen to this.

CONGRESSMAN CHAFFETZ: Over the last 18 months has more than doubled. So if you are a federal employee, I mean, I can name maybe a couple of dozen jobs that would justify over $150,000 a year. There are now 66,000 federal jobs that pay more than $150,000 a year. And that's in it was 30,000 just back in December of 07.

GLENN: Now, is it possible that there were just a lot of people that were making $149,900 18 months ago?

CONGRESSMAN CHAFFETZ: Yes, but still that's ridiculous. Here's the other analysis. People earning over $100,000 a year. In December of '07 that was roughly 263,000 people. Now, just 18 months later based on the numbers of June '09, 382,758 people are making more than $100,000 as a federal employee. And if you look at the numbers of who's earning over $170,000, that has gone from 11,000 plus people to over 22,000 people earning that much money. I just, there is no way to justify those numbers. It's just absolutely shocking.

GLENN: Any idea what the reason is?

CONGRESSMAN CHAFFETZ: Well, you know, there were some across the board pay levels. One of the arguments that you hear is that, oh, well, we've got to pay market rates and we've got to do this and all that.

GLENN: Let the market... I'm sorry, congressman. Let the market pay market rates.

CONGRESSMAN CHAFFETZ: Exactly. But what you what I think you see is an aging workforce, and they continue to say, "Oh, we're not paid, we're not paid, we're not compensated." We have the very low turnover rate in the federal government. That to me as a business person indicates that we're paying too much! We should have a much higher turnover rate. If we had a higher turnover rate, that means that you're probably not paying maybe as much as you could if you wanted to increase that. But at the federal government I don't want to do that. I don't want to do that. So we're paying so much, people don't leave these jobs. They don't

GLENN: I will tell you this. I think it is this is why I say it's slavery. If you are working at a job where you are making $100,000 a year and it's a bureaucracy, I mean, you are not really expected to do anything, you are not really expected, there's no real "Hold your feet to the fire," you are not going to lose your job because, I mean, you can't get fired. You are not going to lose your job because the government's not going to go out of business, or so you'll think. All of these things are happening. Why not? This is why the Soviet Union was the Soviet Union. Only the people that would leave that job would be the people that would like to have a little bit of self respect. If you can't lose your job, if you are not expected to perform and you make an awful lot of money that you can't replace in the private sector, who leaves that job? And you become more and more enslaved to the system. You work forever at that job and you don't leave because you don't have any self respect anymore. You're not required to compete. You're not required to do anything. You punch in, you punch out, you become a DMV worker. I'm sorry. I'm sorry, but this system is absolutely, this is going to lead us to the economic glories of the Soviet Union. It's going to.

CONGRESSMAN CHAFFETZ: It's absolutely shocking. We're adding, the federal government is adding about 10,000 new jobs a month to our payroll.

GLENN: Of course they are. They have to create new jobs. All right. Congressman Chaffetz, let me ask you one last question.

CONGRESSMAN CHAFFETZ: Sure.

GLENN: Nancy Pelosi said, "I really like this whole Medicare option now." I think this has been the plan from the beginning because they can say, okay, there's no public option. But help me out on this one. Two questions: One, how do you make sure that it's not going to cost the American people a trillion dollars by cutting Medicare and finding the fraud in Medicare but then instead of the public option, you expand Medicare? How, how does that work exactly?

CONGRESSMAN CHAFFETZ: That's the insanity that is Washington, D.C. You take a failing program and want to double it up and just allow more I mean, it is the ultimate in the one payer system. It is the ultimate bad healthcare program. I mean, I do wonder if maybe that was the end game from the very beginning.

GLENN: I think it was. How what are the odds? I think this thing's going to pass while everybody's on Christmas vacation.

CONGRESSMAN CHAFFETZ: You know, that's they come right down here to the finish line and people are distracted with all the other holiday stuff.

GLENN: Yep.

CONGRESSMAN CHAFFETZ: You know, they keep us late in the night voting on this stuff and then nobody's paying attention. That's

GLENN: Do you think it's going to pass? Do you think it's going to pass? Will we come back next year and have this thing done?

CONGRESSMAN CHAFFETZ: I pray that it doesn't.

GLENN: I do, too, but that wasn't the question. Do you think it's going to happen?

CONGRESSMAN CHAFFETZ: I'm afraid it might. I really am. They have got numbers, and until the members of congress in the House and the Senate, until they are afraid of their constituents more than they are afraid of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, this will continue to be a problem.

GLENN: Unbelievable.

CONGRESSMAN CHAFFETZ: It won't change until that fundamentally, they are if they know that their people in their districts are paying attention.

GLENN: Congressman Chaffetz, thank you so much. We'll talk again.

CONGRESSMAN CHAFFETZ: Thanks, Glenn.

GLENN: You bet, bye bye. I want you to know I don't endorse any candidate, I don't endorse any congressman, any senator. I don't trust any of them. But I decided I'm not going to go to I'm going to go to the barrel. I'm not going to keep going. I'm going to go to the tree; I'm not going to go to the barrel. I've stopped looking for people who have been there for a long time. Name the person that has gone to Washington and come back years later as a better person. I can't. So I'm going to go to the freshmen, while they still have an ounce of their soul left, and Chaffetz is one of them. And he really does want to get in there and expose the corruption, and he really doesn't care which side it's on. You wait. We're working on some things. But pay attention, America. Buckle up. It's going to be a bumpy ride.


 

From the moment the 33-year-old Thomas Jefferson arrived at the Continental Congress in Philadelphia in 1776, he was on the radical side. That caused John Adams to like him immediately. Then the Congress stuck Jefferson and Adams together on the five-man committee to write a formal statement justifying a break with Great Britain, and their mutual admiration society began.

Jefferson thought Adams should write the Declaration. But Adams protested, saying, “It can't come from me because I'm obnoxious and disliked." Adams reasoned that Jefferson was not obnoxious or disliked, therefore he should write it. Plus, he flattered Jefferson, by telling him he was a great writer. It was a master class in passing the buck.

So, over the next 17 days, Jefferson holed up in his room, applying his lawyer skills to the ideas of the Enlightenment. He borrowed freely from existing documents like the Virginia Declaration of Rights. He later wrote that “he was not striving for originality of principle or sentiment." Instead, he hoped his words served as “an expression of the American mind."

It's safe to say he achieved his goal.

The five-man committee changed about 25 percent of Jefferson's first draft of the Declaration before submitting it to Congress. Then, Congress altered about one-fifth of that draft. But most of the final Declaration's words are Jefferson's, including the most famous passage — the Preamble — which Congress left intact. The result is nothing less than America's mission statement, the words that ultimately bind the nation together. And words that we desperately need to rediscover because of our boiling partisan rage.

The Declaration is brilliant in structure and purpose. It was designed for multiple audiences: the King of Great Britain, the colonists, and the world. And it was designed for multiple purposes: rallying the troops, gaining foreign allies, and announcing the creation of a new country.

The Declaration is structured in five sections: the Introduction, Preamble, the Body composed of two parts, and the Conclusion. It's basically the most genius breakup letter ever written.

In the Introduction, step 1 is the notificationI think we need to break up. And to be fair, I feel I owe you an explanation...

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another…

The Continental Congress felt they were entitled by “the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" to “dissolve the political bands," but they needed to prove the legitimacy of their cause. They were defying the world's most powerful nation and needed to motivate foreign allies to join the effort. So, they set their struggle within the entire “Course of human events." They're saying, this is no petty political spat — this is a major event in world history.

Step 2 is declaring what you believe in, your standardsHere's what I'm looking for in a healthy relationship...

This is the most famous part of the Declaration; the part school children recite — the Preamble:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That's as much as many Americans know of the Declaration. But the Preamble is the DNA of our nation, and it really needs to be taken as a whole:

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

The Preamble takes us through a logical progression: All men are created equal; God gives all humans certain inherent rights that cannot be denied; these include the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; to protect those rights, we have governments set up; but when a government fails to protect our inherent rights, people have the right to change or replace it.

Government is only there to protect the rights of mankind. They don't have any power unless we give it to them. That was an extraordinarily radical concept then and we're drifting away from it now.

The Preamble is the justification for revolution. But note how they don't mention Great Britain yet. And again, note how they frame it within a universal context. These are fundamental principles, not just squabbling between neighbors. These are the principles that make the Declaration just as relevant today. It's not just a dusty parchment that applied in 1776.

Step 3 is laying out your caseHere's why things didn't work out between us. It's not me, it's you...

This is Part 1 of the Body of the Declaration. It's the section where Jefferson gets to flex his lawyer muscles by listing 27 grievances against the British crown. This is the specific proof of their right to rebellion:

He has obstructed the administration of justice...

For imposing taxes on us without our consent...

For suspending our own legislatures...

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us...

Again, Congress presented these “causes which impel them to separation" in universal terms to appeal to an international audience. It's like they were saying, by joining our fight you'll be joining mankind's overall fight against tyranny.

Step 4 is demonstrating the actions you took I really tried to make this relationship work, and here's how...

This is Part 2 of the Body. It explains how the colonists attempted to plead their case directly to the British people, only to have the door slammed in their face:

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury...

They too have been deaf to the voice of justice... We must, therefore... hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

This basically wrapped up America's argument for independence — we haven't been treated justly, we tried to talk to you about it, but since you refuse to listen and things are only getting worse, we're done here.

Step 5 is stating your intent — So, I think it's best if we go our separate ways. And my decision is final...

This is the powerful Conclusion. If people know any part of the Declaration besides the Preamble, this is it:

...that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved...

They left no room for doubt. The relationship was over, and America was going to reboot, on its own, with all the rights of an independent nation.

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The message was clear — this was no pitchfork mob. These were serious men who had carefully thought through the issues before taking action. They were putting everything on the line for this cause.

The Declaration of Independence is a landmark in the history of democracy because it was the first formal statement of a people announcing their right to choose their own government. That seems so obvious to us now, but in 1776 it was radical and unprecedented.

In 1825, Jefferson wrote that the purpose of the Declaration was “not to find out new principles, or new arguments, never before thought of… but to place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm… to justify ourselves in the independent stand we are compelled to take."

You're not going to do better than the Declaration of Independence. Sure, it worked as a means of breaking away from Great Britain, but its genius is that its principles of equality, inherent rights, and self-government work for all time — as long as we actually know and pursue those principles.

On June 7, 1776, the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania State House, better known today as Independence Hall. Virginia delegate Richard Henry Lee introduced a motion calling for the colonies' independence. The “Lee Resolution" was short and sweet:

Resolved, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.

Intense debate followed, and the Congress voted 7 to 5 (with New York abstaining) to postpone a vote on Lee's Resolution. They called a recess for three weeks. In the meantime, the delegates felt they needed to explain what they were doing in writing. So, before the recess, they appointed a five-man committee to come up with a formal statement justifying a break with Great Britain. They appointed two men from New England — Roger Sherman and John Adams; two from the middle colonies — Robert Livingston and Benjamin Franklin; and one Southerner — Thomas Jefferson. The responsibility for writing what would become the Declaration of Independence fell to Jefferson.

In the rotunda of the National Archives building in Washington, D.C., there are three original documents on permanent display: the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence. These are the three pillars of the United States, yet America barely seems to know them anymore. We need to get reacquainted — quickly.

In a letter to his friend John Adams in 1816, Jefferson wrote: “I like the dreams of the future, better than the history of the past."

America used to be a forward-looking nation of dreamers. We still are in spots, but the national attitude that we hear broadcast loudest across media is not looking toward the future with optimism and hope. In late 2017, a national poll found 59% of Americans think we are currently at the “lowest point in our nation's history that they can remember."

America spends far too much time looking to the past for blame and excuse. And let's be honest, even the Right is often more concerned with “owning the left" than helping point anyone toward the practical principles of the Declaration of Independence. America has clearly lost touch with who we are as a nation. We have a national identity crisis.

The Declaration of Independence is America's thesis statement, and without it America doesn't exist.

It is urgent that we get reacquainted with the Declaration of Independence because postmodernism would have us believe that we've evolved beyond the America of our founding documents, and thus they're irrelevant to the present and the future. But the Declaration of Independence is America's thesis statement, and without it America doesn't exist.

Today, much of the nation is so addicted to partisan indignation that "day-to-day" indignation isn't enough to feed the addiction. So, we're reaching into America's past to help us get our fix. In 2016, Democrats in the Louisiana state legislature tabled a bill that would have required fourth through sixth graders to recite the opening lines of the Declaration. They didn't table it because they thought it would be too difficult or too patriotic. They tabled it because the requirement would include the phrase “all men are created equal" and the progressives in the Louisiana legislature didn't want the children to have to recite a lie. Representative Barbara Norton said, “One thing that I do know is, all men are not created equal. When I think back in 1776, July the fourth, African Americans were slaves. And for you to bring a bill to request that our children will recite the Declaration, I think it's a little bit unfair to us. To ask our children to recite something that's not the truth. And for you to ask those children to repeat the Declaration stating that all men's are free. I think that's unfair."

Remarkable — an elected representative saying it wouldn't be fair for students to have to recite the Declaration because “all men are not created equal." Another Louisiana Democrat explained that the government born out of the Declaration “was used against races of people." I guess they missed that part in school where they might have learned that the same government later made slavery illegal and amended the Constitution to guarantee all men equal protection under the law. The 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments were an admission of guilt by the nation regarding slavery, and an effort to right the wrongs.

Yet, the progressive logic goes something like this: many of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence, including Thomas Jefferson who wrote it, owned slaves; slavery is evil; therefore, the Declaration of Independence is not valid because it was created by evil slave owners.

It's a sad reality that the left has a very hard time appreciating the universal merits of the Declaration of Independence because they're so hung up on the long-dead issue of slavery. And just to be clear — because people love to take things out of context — of course slavery was horrible. Yes, it is a total stain on our history. But defending the Declaration of Independence is not an effort to excuse any aspect of slavery.

Okay then, people might say, how could the Founders approve the phrase “All men are created equal," when many of them owned slaves? How did they miss that?

They didn't miss it. In fact, Thomas Jefferson included an anti-slavery passage in his first draft of the Declaration. The paragraph blasted King George for condoning slavery and preventing the American Colonies from passing legislation to ban slavery:

He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights to life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating and carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere... Determined to keep open a market where men should be bought and sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce.

We don't say “execrable" that much anymore. It means, utterly detestable, abominable, abhorrent — basically very bad.

Jefferson was upset when Georgia and North Carolina threw up the biggest resistance to that paragraph. Ultimately, those two states twisted Congress' arm to delete the paragraph.

Still, how could a man calling the slave trade “execrable" be a slaveowner himself? No doubt about it, Jefferson was a flawed human being. He even had slaves from his estate in Virginia attending him while he was in Philadelphia, in the very apartment where he was writing the Declaration.

Many of the Southern Founders deeply believed in the principles of the Declaration yet couldn't bring themselves to upend the basis of their livelihood. By 1806, Virginia law made it more difficult for slave owners to free their slaves, especially if the owner had significant debts as Jefferson did.

At the same time, the Founders were not idiots. They understood the ramifications of signing on to the principles described so eloquently in the Declaration. They understood that logically, slavery would eventually have to be abolished in America because it was unjust, and the words they were committing to paper said as much. Remember, John Adams was on the committee of five that worked on the Declaration and he later said that the Revolution would never be complete until the slaves were free.

Also, the same generation that signed the Declaration started the process of abolition by banning the importation of slaves in 1807. Jefferson was President at the time and he urged Congress to pass the law.

America has an obvious road map that, as a nation, we're not consulting often enough.

The Declaration took a major step toward crippling the institution of slavery. It made the argument for the first time about the fundamental rights of all humans which completely undermined slavery. Planting the seeds to end slavery is not nearly commendable enough for leftist critics, but you can't discount the fact that the seeds were planted. It's like they started an expiration clock for slavery by approving the Declaration. Everything that happened almost a century later to end slavery, and then a century after that with the Civil Rights movement, flowed from the principles voiced in the Declaration.

Ironically for a movement that calls itself progressive, it is obsessed with retrying and judging the past over and over. Progressives consider this a better use of time than actually putting past abuses in the rearview and striving not to be defined by ancestral failures.

It can be very constructive to look to the past, but not when it's used to flog each other in the present. Examining history is useful in providing a road map for the future. And America has an obvious road map that, as a nation, we're not consulting often enough. But it's right there, the original, under glass. The ink is fading, but the words won't die — as long as we continue to discuss them.

'Good Morning Texas' gives exclusive preview of Mercury One museum

Screen shot from Good Morning Texas

Mercury One is holding a special exhibition over the 4th of July weekend, using hundreds of artifacts, documents and augmented reality experiences to showcase the history of slavery — including slavery today — and a path forward. Good Morning Texas reporter Paige McCoy Smith went through the exhibit for an exclusive preview with Mercury One's chief operating officer Michael Little on Tuesday.

Watch the video below to see the full preview.

Click here to purchase tickets to the museum (running from July 4 - 7).

Over the weekend, journalist Andy Ngo and several other apparent right-leaning people were brutally beaten by masked-gangs of Antifa protesters in Portland, Oregon. Short for "antifascist," Antifa claims to be fighting for social justice and tolerance — by forcibly and violently silencing anyone with opposing opinions. Ngo, who was kicked, punched, and sprayed with an unknown substance, is currently still in the hospital with a "brain bleed" as a result of the savage attack. Watch the video to get the details from Glenn.